Peru Day 9 – Machu Picchu

I got up on Tuesday and reflected a little on the night before.  After the long crazy day I had a fun evening.  I ate Alpaca, bumped into people I saw up the mountain and was feeling very good about how Tuesday would go.

I felt so good I decided to bring the Stereo Realist and see if I could get some 3D pictures at Machu Picchu.  Tim and I slept in, ate a nice big breakfast, loaded ourselves with supplies and headed out around 9:15.

Tim and I took it slow around MP.  The place is an entire city and the weather was fabulous, sunny, and clear.  We ended up splitting off after about an hour and I just photographed and enjoyed nice and slow.  I love the fact that Llamas just walk around the place.

At about 1:25 I found myself in this little room that seemed perfect to try and capture for Pocket Virtual Worlds.  I had shlepped my gear but still didn’t know if I could do it ‘in the field’.  The little room was nice as it has a room off of it (like a closet or a cave) where I could stash my bag.  I unpacked and started to try to grid out the room.  I figured it would take about 18 panoramas to get it right.  The sun wasn’t helping but I ended up working up a rhythm and did the entire room in about an hour.  I would have probably try to shoot it again but my private hour was all I was going to get and people started to move through.  I learned a lot and even if it doesn’t come out right I know what we do next.

I kept wandering and climbing (very slowly with the bound knee and my cane instead of a walking stick) and I bumped into Tim who had gone the other way.  After 3pm the place starts to empty and you can really get some great shots.  Tim and I met up again about 4:40 and walked to the exit together.

At the exit I met a girl who had a dog sleeping at her feet.  She told me it wasn’t hers it just walked up to her and plopped down and went to sleep.  She told us that there was a public bus that went from Ollantaytambo to Cusco after the train fro only 5 sol or that people took cabs.  This sounded good to us so we headed back to the hotel for dinner and the guys at the hotel made us a reservation back at our old hotel in Cusco and told us not to spend more than 50 sol if we got a cab.

The guys at the hotel were great and we showed the my Africa book and Tim played harmonica.  I took pictures with them and then Tim and I grabbed a burger to go and they took our bags to the train station.

This time even though we were on a backpacker train it was more luxurious.  And we left at 9:30 and go to Olly around 11pm.

There were two cab drivers hustling for our business and Tim got one down to 50 and we were off.  The best part of the whole trip was that the night was clear.  I mean really clear and you could see stars but not just a few I mean lots of em the entire galaxy was there and it was heart stopping to see the stars with the mountains all around you.

Very fun.

We got to Cusco at around 12:30 and yup it was locked up!  They did let us in but they put us in this tiny tiny room on the third floor!
We left our bags downstairs and just went to sleep.

[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]